A former teacher at a top Christchurch high school has resigned after being investigated for allegedly sending anonymous slanderous letters about the headmaster.
The woman taught at Christchurch Boys' High School (CBHS) for more than a decade until she resigned in December 2019.
She and her husband contacted the Privacy Commissioner about documents after advice from the Ministry of Education.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the teacher and her husband say they want the real reasons for her resignation made public – and their reputations restored.
"I was blamed for things I had nothing to do with," she said.
"It wore me down. I still love the school but people need to know what happened to me.
"I'd happily forfeit any damages just to get everything out."
The teacher was investigated for allegedly sending inflammatory letters that targeted headmaster Nic Hill, who took up the role in 2013, coming from Waitaki Boys' High School where he was deputy rector.
Over 18 months, a series of typed letters – in handwritten envelopes sent through the post – were received by the school's board of trustees, all making allegations about Hill and how he was running the school.
In September 2018, the teacher says board chairwoman Leann Watson told her she was being investigated for sending 11 anonymous letters.
A sample of her handwriting, understood to be taken from school files without her knowledge, had already been sent to a forensic police expert and analysed.
Barrister Amy Keir headed the probe and interviewed seven people, including other CBHS staff members.
But her findings are understood to have been inconclusive.
The teacher felt she was being unfairly targeted and was unhappy at how the investigation was conducted by the board's sub-committee.
While she felt under stress at school in 2018, her son was also suffering a major health scare.
She returned to work in February 2019 but was so nervous she could "hardly get out the car".
"I was very anxious every day."
She says she asked for mediation between her and Hill to try to work out a constructive working relationship.
The teacher says mediation was declined.
She then got a first warning from the board for allegedly making negative comments about Hill.
Her husband also made a formal complaint to the board.
By the middle of the year, she took seven weeks of sick leave.
She resigned in December 2019.
The teacher had enlisted a lawyer to represent her in the investigation and a personal grievance complaint, which is ongoing.
Responding to detailed, specific questions from the Herald this week, Watson refused to comment.
"Christchurch Boys' High School employs 130 teachers and staff. It would be inappropriate for the board or headmaster to publicly comment on matters involving its employees, whether past or present," Watson said.